Addiction problems are especially common among college students, either because they binge drink to fit in or because they take stimulants to get an extra edge. In either case, the addiction can negatively impact their ability to keep up with their educational obligations in addition to causing long-term health problems. Unfortunately, many college students don’t seek the help they need because they don’t want to fall behind in their studies. If this situation sounds familiar, participating in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) may be the ideal solution. This involves many of the same beneficial services that inpatient rehab provides, but there’s also the freedom and time to pursue other obligations. The IOP alternative allows parents, full-time professionals, and others to meet their real world obligations, while they go through an addiction recovery program. While it is an outpatient process, it’s important to recognize that it’s still as intensive as an inpatient treatment option and requires the same level of commitment. In some ways, IOP programs require a deeper level of dedication because you won’t be subjected to the same level of supervision. An IOP program is intended for an individual who has stopped using and is committed to staying clean and sober. Since there is less supervision, it will be up to you to maintain your sobriety. While you will be required to undergo random testing to ensure you haven’t relapsed, some substances, such as alcohol, may not show up in tests. This leaves you to abide by the honor system and use the techniques you learn in the IOP program to avoid the temptation to use again. Since you are voluntarily participating in the program, it’s assumed you want to stay clean and sober. You will also be responsible for getting to therapy sessions, group meetings, and other appointments on time. You may jeopardize your ability to continue treatment if you can’t show up when you’re scheduled for a session, so it’s important to plan ahead when organizing your IOP schedule.
What Types of Treatment are Offered in an IOP Program?
Some people are concerned that an outpatient option won’t offer the same level of treatment as that which is offered in inpatient programs. This is a common myth, but not based in fact. IOP programs allow you to choose the hours you participate in treatment so you can meet other obligations, but they still offer the same services. This includes requiring participation in group counseling sessions on a regular basis. Group meetings are an important part of recovery because they offer the ability to connect with other recovering addicts in the community. The meetings are also helpful in getting support from others in the group to ensure your continued sobriety.
In the same way that you receive support, you’ll also have the opportunity to provide insight and advice to other recovering addicts. Especially when faced with the peer pressure that’s common in the college environment, having the support of people who understand your situation is an immeasurable benefit. You’ll also be required to attend various types of counseling sessions, including seeing an addiction counselor up to four times every week. During these sessions, you’ll discuss your triggers and cravings to help you learn how to avoid dangerous situations in which you’ll be tempted to relapse.
Your counselor will probably utilize CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) to help you alter self-destructive habits. Instead, you’ll learn to occupy your time with more constructive activities, which may include adding extra study time to your evenings, engaging in physical activity, or learning to practice yoga. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with a therapist on a regular basis, since many addicts also struggle with mental health issues. You’ll be able to receive treatment for depression, anxiety, or other emotional problems that could lead to a relapse if left untreated.
As with the group therapy, all of these sessions can be scheduled around your school obligations to prevent you from having a conflict. The goal of an IOP program is to provide you with treatment without compromising your ability to meet other obligations. These types of programs also offer opportunities to participate in online courses and sessions to help you get the most out of the recovery process. If you’d like to learn more about an IOP program, call us at 833-820-2922. Our counselors are standing by seven days a week, 24 hours a day to answer all of your questions. We can help you start the addiction treatment program that’s ideal for your situation.